All-white-everything is not the look if one is referring to NYFW runways’ consistent lack of casting diversity, but when it comes to the clothes of SS14, blinding-bright monochrome is coming through big-time with a sumptuously squeaky-clean vibe. We saw layered, sometimes multi-white looks interspersed throughout collections this season from labels like Givenchy, Christopher Shannon, and McQueen, but to me the week’s sleek standout came not from a major fashion house, but from architecture firm Bureau V (as in Vee, not roman numeral 5), whose three principals designed an all-white menswear capsule for emerging talent platform and production house Byco.
Bureau V’s modern, geometric aesthetic, previously manifested via various high profile buildings and installations, translated beautifully into a collection that is equal parts icy and cozy, a series of thoughtfully calibrated shapes in materials like felted wool, cotton and mesh. Blank buttons and expertly concealed jacket and pant closures punctuate the dedicated severity of the aesthetic, while well-placed vents and layerable shapes speak to a more relaxed functionality. The casting (which thankfully did include non-white models) for the presentation, a serene installation in the midst of a far more lively Dillon gallery, was also pitch-perfect in mimicking the clothes’ rugged sterility; I’d go so far as to call the mix of updated workwear/American sportswear silhouettes and their spotless monochrome palette outright sexy, leaving an air of mystery as to whether or not the Bureau V man is down to get his hands (or crisp cotton oxford) dirty.
Byco, the company that commissioned the collaboration, provides invaluable production and sales resources to small or up-and-coming designers, some of whom are merely paying clients and others who are hand-selected for in-depth collaborations, such as Bureau V. The company is a godsend for the up-and-comer in need of professional-quality samples, and seems as if it could be equally exciting for anyone looking to invest in his or her own custom piece(s) rather than shelling out big bucks for mainstream designer goods.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the reasonable price point on the Bureau V collection; the construction is impeccable up close, and numbers around $300 for a sharp-fitting jacket or $200 for the ideal felted trousers in their modern, roomy glory are hardly astronomical, if not inexpensive. Shop the entire array here here, and read up on Byco’s admirable mission to make design and production accessible to niche talent. We’re looking forward to seeing what they do next– and also waiting to see whether Bureau V will be able to resist another foray into fashion. Hope not!